For me, the Book of Shadows has a very narrow focus. A lot of Witches like to put a bunch of stuff in their BOSes: dreams, visions, psychic experiences, experiences while doing a spell, and whatnot. I like to have a separate book for my magickal diary, a separate book for my dream journal, and then there’s my BOS. I also have several Disks Of Shadows, and a Box of Shadows. The Disks of Shadows are floppy disks labeled “Disk of Shadows” and “Daughter of Disk of Shadows.” On these disks are spells and rituals. The Box of Shadows is a Whitman’s Chocolates Sampler box with spells in it, both from the Llewellyn Spell A Day calendar, and a few spells I wrote down on 3 x 5 index cards.
The other books I keep (albeit sporadically) are my dream journal and my magickal journal. The dream journal is a looseleaf binder filled with notebook filler paper in which I record my dreams, and occasionally story ideas that I come up with in the middle of the night. The reason for this is twofold. When you deal with dreams, you’re dealing with the subconscious. The subconscious is an invaluable tool for one who has made friends with hers, and knows how to use it. For the magician or Witch, it is the seat of magick. It is the subconscious which does the magick. To those who follow the Max Freedom Long and Huna tradition, the subconscious is the Younger Self. It is always aged somewhere between the ages of 5 and 12, and never never grows up no matter how old we get on the outside. It loves to do magick and ritual. It loves to get dressed up and play make-believe. But it believes that what it is playing at is literally true. The subconscious has no sense of irony. When I was 45, I suddenly realized what a powerful tool I had in my wonderful wild weird subconscious, and how wonderful it could be if I made friends with it. The subconscious is also the seat of the imagination, and a writer needs her imagination. The subconscious is where all a writer’s ideas come from. If you have voices telling you what to write, that is where your voices come from. My shrink explained to my meds group that creative people often have voices in their heads telling them what to create. Great authors, poets, artists, and musicians call it their muse. The Muses in Greek mythology were the nine daughters of the god Apollo and the nymph Memory. But I think that there are male muses too, for the emerging female artists of our times. I have both male and female muses. One night I awoke to a very insistent woman’s voice speaking with a thick French accent nagging at me to tell her story. Where did this voice come from? Why, it has to be my subconscious. Freudians say it’s through endless psychoanalysis and every dream has a sexual component, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, the smell of which makes me gag. You yourself are the best interpreter of your own dreams. Your subconscious is, as you know, a seething broth of everything you’ve ever experienced, whether directly in your life, or indirectly in books, movies, what people have told you, etc. There is also the unconscious which has images we are not aware of but which are in our DNA, and come through to us at times just because we are human. It is in that one percent of our DNA which differentiates us from our closest primate cousins the great apes.
The last book that many Witches include in their Books of Shadows is the magickal diary. This I can see in a way. You want to put in your BOS about how a spell or a ritual went when you performed it. Here again I return to the need for a narrow focus for the BOS and the need for a separate volume. Your magickal diary is a lab notebook which should list the conditions under which you undertook to perform this spell or ritual. This includes any planets transiting that day or night, and your own psychic mood. I follow the Thelemite practice of listing the Sun sign and Moon sign. I refer to the spell or ritual in some way, and describe it. I leave room for results and aftershocks. What I use is one of those composition books with marbleized covers that you can often get 3 or 4 at a time for cheap during August’s getting ready for school sales.
I have decided to give KEEN a deadline. If they don’t get their act together and send me sufficient paying calls to make it worth the trouble to stay with them by March 1st I’m leaving and never looking back. KEEN has been like IMVU to me. It’s been a lot of headaches, hassles, and stress which I don’t need. I had to take my Magicjack off my phone, which means I can’t make long distance calls. All the money I would’ve made from KEEN I had to put back in for bidding, which is a racket. In order to be in a place on the list that is high enough for people to see your listing and call you, you have to bid. Well, I had to bid the money I’d made, and the bid only lasted one day. Did I get any paying calls from it? No! So if you want to earn extra money, find some other way to do it. Do NOT become a reader for KEEN or any other psychic reading service. They exploit their workers, and you don’t get a thing from them. I only joined it because Stephen pestered me so to join it. Well, the next time he comes up with a great scheme for making money, I shall remind him of my KEEN experience and tell him to keep quiet about it. If it works for him, maybe I’ll ask him about it Oh, and if you want to delay my departure from KEEN, call 1-800-275-5336 and ask for Teiweth ShadowDancer 8342 or go to http://www.keen.com and ask for Teiweth ShadowDancer and I’ll give you a good reading. But only call between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. (all times Pacific). That’s when I’m available.